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Friday, December 31, 2021

R.I.P. Betty White (1922 - 2021)

Betty White

Actress Betty White, has died.

Betty White, whose saucy, up-for-anything charm made her a television mainstay for more than 60 years, whether as a man-crazy TV hostess on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” or the loopy housemate on “The Golden Girls”. She was 99.

White's death was confirmed by her longtime agent Jeff Witjas in a phone call Friday with publicist Pam Golum. White would have turned 100 on Jan. 17, 2022.

Ask The Wizard (Trojans)

Dear Wizard of 'OZ',

I was wondering what’s a Trojan Horse virus?

Signed,

Helen

Dear Helen,

I came across this gem on the Visa website:

What’s a Trojan Horse virus?
A Trojan Horse is an email virus usually released by an email attachment. If opened, it will scour your hard drive for any personal and financial information such as your social security, account, and PIN numbers. Once it has collected your info, it is sent to a thief’s database.


Now, there are Trojan Horses and there are viruses, but there's no such thing as a Trojan Horse virus. In fact, the very definition of each precludes any chance of there being such a thing. A Trojan does not replicate. Viruses do. That fact alone means there can never be a "Trojan Horse virus".

The Visa description continues with, "A Trojan Horse is an email virus usually released by an email attachment." Not so. A Trojan may be sent as an attachment in email, but it's certainly not an email virus. (In fact there are few true email viruses, but that's a whole other topic). So it may or may not arrive in email, and it's equally likely to have been downloaded from a website or resulted from a P2P file transfer. In other words, vector has nothing to do with whether something is or isn't a Trojan.

Just what is a Trojan then? A Trojan is a program that appears to be legitimate, but in fact does something malicious. Quite often, that something malicious involves gaining remote, surreptitious access to a user's system. Unlike viruses, a Trojan does not replicate (i.e. infect other files), nor does it make copies of itself as worms do.

There are several different types of Trojans. Some of these include: remote access Trojans (RATs), backdoor Trojans (backdoors), IRC Trojans (IRCbots), and keylogging Trojans. Many Trojan encompass multiple types. For example, a Trojan may install both a keylogger and a backdoor. IRC Trojans are often combined with backdoors and RATs to create collections of infected computers known as botnets.

But one thing you probably won't find a Trojan doing is scouring your hard drive for personal details, as the Visa description alleges. Contextually, that would be a bit of a trick for a Trojan. Instead, this is where the keylogging functionality most often comes into play - capturing the user's keystrokes as they type and sending the logs to the attackers. Some of these keyloggers can be pretty sophisticated, targeting only certain websites (for example) and capturing any keystrokes involved with that particular session.

But why is it important to know the difference between a virus, a worm, and a Trojan? Because a virus infects legitimate files, thus if antivirus software detects a virus, that file should be cleaned. Conversely, if antivirus software detects a worm or a Trojan, there is no legitimate file involved and action should be to delete the file.


Hope this helps.

Yrs,

The Wizard

Not sure what is most frightening

 

Car accident

Think Outside the Box

You are driving down the road in your car on a wild, stormy night, when you pass by a bus stop and you see three people waiting for the bus:

1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.

2. An old friend who once saved your life.

3. The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.

Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your small car?

Think before you continue reading.

This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually used as part of a job application. You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first. Or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life and this would be the perfect chance to pay him back.

However, you may never be able to find your perfect mate again...

The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble coming up with his answer. He simply answered, "I would give the car keys to my old friend and let him take the lady to the hospital. I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the partner of my dreams."

Sometimes, we gain more if we are able to give up our stubborn thought limitations. Never forget to "Think Outside the Box."

HOWEVER, the correct answer is to run the old lady over and put her out of her misery, have sex with the perfect partner on the hood of the car, then drive off with the old friend for a few beers!!!!

I just love happy endings!

I went to a party


I went to a party,
And remembered what you said.
You told me not to drink, Mom
So I had a sprite instead.


I felt proud of myself,
The way you said I would,
That I didn't drink and drive,
Though some friends said I should.



I made a healthy choice,
And your advice to me was right,
The party finally ended,
And the kids drove out of sight.



I got into my car,
Sure to get home in one piece,
I never knew what was coming,
Mom Something I expected least.



Now I'm lying on the pavement,
And I hear the policeman say,
The kid that caused this wreck was drunk,
Mom, his voice seems far away.



My own blood's all around me,
As I try hard not to cry.
I can hear the paramedic say,
This girl is going to die.



I'm sure the guy had no idea,
While he was flying high,
Because he chose to drink and drive,
Now I would have to die.



So why do people do it, Mom
Knowing that it ruins lives?
And now the pain is cutting me,
Like a hundred stabbing knives.



Tell sister not to be afraid, Mom
Tell daddy to be brave,
And when I go to heaven,
Put "Mommy 's Girl" on my grave.



Someone should have taught him,
That it's wrong to drink and drive.
Maybe if his parents had, I'd still be alive.
My breath is getting shorter, Mom



I'm getting really scared.
These are my final moments,
And I'm so unprepared.


I wish that you could hold me Mom,
As I lie here and die.
I wish that I could say, "I love you, Mom!"


So I love you and good-bye.


Click here to go to the MADD homepage

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Tattoo of the year!

 
Tattoo of the year!

Spelling Bee (No Offence Meant!)

Tyreal came home from school disappointed. "I hate English, dem teachers are always changing stuff". 

Mother: "Tyreal, have you been using bad words and writing dirty notes again?" 

Tyreal: "Naw, momma, I sware I didn't. I used all of my spelling words in a sentence like the teacher say, but the teacher, she gave me an "F". 

1. HOTEL - My Momma said that she ain' gon tell her friend Shaqueta nothing else, cause that HOTEL everthang she know. 

2. HONOR ROLL - We was playing bidwiz on the stoop the other day and man, I was HONORROLL. 

3. PLANET - Leroy got arrested cause he got him some seed to grow weed, and he PLANET in the backyard. 

4. DISMAY - I went for a blood test, the doctor pulled out a needle and said DISMAY hurt a little. 

5. OMELETTE - I should punch you for what you jes said but OMELETTE it go dis time. 

6. STAIRWAY - Getting high is stupid. It makes you STAIRWAY into space. 

7. MOBILE - I went to buy some food, I was short on cash, and my man said gimme one MOBILE. 

8. DEFENSE - I saw this dude running from the cops, but he hopped DEFENSE and got away. 

9. AFRO - I got so mad at my girl, AFRO a lamp at her. 

10. AFTERMATH - I don't feel like being at school today so AFTERMATH, I'm out. 

11. LOCKET - I slam the door so hard, I LOCKET. 

12. DOMINEERING - My girl's birthday was yesterday, so I got her a DOMINEERING 

13 KENYA - I needed money for the subway, so I axe a stranger KENYA spare some change. 

14. DERANGE - DERANGE is where da deer and da antelope play. 

15 DATA - At my basketball game, I scored thirty points My coach say DATA boy. 

16. BEWARE - I asked the man at the unemployment office, "Is dis BEWARE I can get a job?" 

17. DIMENSION - I be tall, dark, handsome and not DIMENSION smart. 

18. COATROOM - The judge said, "One more outburst, you'll be thrown out de COATROOM." 

19. DECIDE - My boy fronting' like he love his girl but eribody know he got a couple of chicks on DECIDE. 

20. FASCINATE - Her dress got 10 buttons, but she so big she can't FASCINATE.

Why You Shouldn't Take Kids to the Zoo

 
Why You Shouldn't Take Kids to the Zoo - Part 1

From The Emerald City

 From The Emerald City

My Dear 'OZ'ians,

As 2021 draws to a close, I wanted to mention to all my readers that 'OZ' is a labour of love and that it is only you, my loyal readers that keep me posting day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year. While traffic is way down from its heyday in 2004, I still have a loyal following. 300-500 visits per day is nothing to sneeze at!

I have been referring to my readers as 'OZ'ians, but what would you like to be referred to as? Make a comment or send me a message by clicking on the contribute button or use the Contact The Wizard form. I look forward to your replies!

May your days be great ones, Live life to the fullest -- you never know when your number will be up, and all the best from me to you in 2022.

The Wizard

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

R.I.P. John Madden (1936 - 2021)

John Madden

Hall of Famer John Madden, whose Oakland Raiders teams never had a losing season and a beloved football analyst for three decades, has died, the NFL said Tuesday night.

Madden, 85, passed away unexpectedly in the morning, according to the league.

John Madden '93

John Earl Madden was an American football coach and sportscaster. He was the head coach of the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League for ten seasons, and helmed them to a championship in Super Bowl XI. After retiring from coaching, he served as a colour commentator for NFL telecasts until 2009, work for which he won 16 Sports Emmy Awards.

Geography

GEOGRAPHY OF A WOMAN 

Between 18 and 20 a woman is like AFRICA, half discovered, half wild, naturally beautiful with fertile deltas. 

Between 21 and 30 a woman is like AMERICA, well developed and open to trade especially for someone with cash. 

Between 31 and 35 she is like INDIA, very hot, relaxed and convinced of her own beauty. 

Between 36 and 40 a woman is like FRANCE. Gently aging but still a warm and desirable place to visit. 

Between 41 and 50 she is like YUGOSLAVIA, lost the war - haunted by past mistakes. Massive reconstruction is now necessary. 

Between 51 and 60, she is like CANADA, very wide and borders are un-patrolled. The frigid winter climate keeps people away. 

Between 61 and 70, a woman is like MONGOLIA, with a glorious and all conquering past but alas, no future. 

After 70, they become AFGHANISTAN. Almost everyone knows where it is, but no one wants to go there.  

THE GEOGRAPHY OF A MAN Between 15 and 70 a man is like Russia  - ruled by a dick.** 

** Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who is serving as the current president of Russia. He has been serving in this position since 2012, and he previously held this office from 1999 until 2008. He was also the prime minister from 1999 to 2000, and again from 2008 to 2012

10 flagrant grammar mistakes that make you look stupid

#1: Loose for lose No: I always loose the product key. Yes: I always lose the product key.  

#2: It's for its (or god forbid, its') No: Download the HTA, along with it's readme file. Yes: Download the HTA, along with its readme file. No: The laptop is overheating and its making that funny noise again. Yes: The laptop is overheating and it's making that funny noise again.  

#3: They're for their for there No: The managers are in they're weekly planning meeting. Yes: The managers are in their weekly planning meeting. No: The techs have to check there cell phones at the door, and their not happy about it. Yes: The techs have to check their cell phones at the door, and they're not happy about it. 

#4: i.e. for e.g. No: Use an anti-spyware program (i.e., Ad-Aware). Yes: Use an anti-spyware program (e.g., Ad-Aware). Note: The term i.e. means "that is"; e.g. means "for example." And a comma follows both of them.  

#5: Effect for affect No: The outage shouldn't effect any users during work hours. Yes: The outage shouldn't affect any users during work hours. Yes: The outage shouldn't have any effect on users. Yes: We will effect several changes during the downtime. Note: Impact is not a verb. Purists, at least, beg you to use affect instead: No: The outage shouldn't impact any users during work hours. Yes: The outage shouldn't affect any users during work hours. Yes: The outage should have no impact on users during work hours.  

#6: You're for your No: Remember to defrag you're machine on a regular basis. Yes: Remember to defrag your machine on a regular basis. No: Your right about the changes. Yes: You're right about the changes.  

#7: Different than for different from No: This setup is different than the one at the main office. Yes: This setup is different from the one at the main office. Yes: This setup is better than the one at the main office. 

#8 Lay for lie No: I got dizzy and had to lay down. Yes: I got dizzy and had to lie down. Yes: Just lay those books over there. 

#9: Then for than No: The accounting department had more problems then we did. Yes: The accounting department had more problems than we did. Note: Here's a sub-peeve. When a sentence construction begins with If, you don't need a then. Then is implicit, so it's superfluous and wordy. No: If you can't get Windows to boot, then you'll need to call Ted. Yes: If you can't get Windows to boot, you'll need to call Ted.  

#10: Could of, would of for could have, would have No: I could of installed that app by mistake. Yes: I could have installed that app by mistake. No: I would of sent you a meeting notice, but you were out of town. Yes: I would have sent you a meeting notice, but you were out of town

*TechRepublic

Something to say when you don't want to get involved in a bad situation

 

Not my circus, not my monkedys

Monday, December 27, 2021

What Me Worry?

 

 Alfred E. Newman and Dr. Fauci 

Separated at birth?

Giggles, Guffaws and Groaners

Mickey Mouse snickering

My wife yelled from the bedroom asking, “Do you ever get a shooting pain across your body like someone’s got a voodoo doll of you and they’re stabbing it?”

I replied, “No.”

She yelled back, "What about now?"

HYUK!

A Sunday school teacher asked her class, "What was Jesus' Mother's name?"

One child answered, "Mary."

The teacher then asked, "Who knows what Jesus' Father's name was?"

Another child said, "The Verge."

Confused, the teacher asked, "Where did you get that?"

The little one said, "Well, you know they are always talking about The Verge n' Mary." 

HYUK!

My wife just completed a 40-week body building routine...

It's a baby boy, weighing 7 pounds!     

HYUK!

A man had just got his car stuck in a during a drive in the country and he needed help getting it out. So he walked until he found a farm and asked the farmer for help. The farmer agrees to help the guy out. So he takes a horse out of the stable and leads him to the car. The farmer then ties a harness around the horse and the other end to the car.

The farmer yells, "Pull, Sandy!"

The horse just stands there.

The farmer yells, "Come on now, pull Twister!"

The horse once again just stands there.

Finally the farmer yells, "Ok dangit, PULL RANGER! You're just standing there!"

Finally the horse springs forward and with all the strength he has he pulls the car out of the ditch and onto the roadside.

The man thanks the farmer many times, but before leaving the farmer why he yelled out names of horses that weren't there.

The farmer just smiles and replies, "Oh, you see Ranger there is completely blind and a lazy horse. He wasn't going to pull if he thought he was the only one trying."  

HYUK!

A friend of mine always helps me with maps and diagrams, pointing out all the little symbols and what they mean...

The guy is a legend! " 

HYUK!

A man take his wife to the doctor for an annual checkup. When the doctor calls the woman in, she turns to her husband and says, “Let’s go Harold.”

The husband dutifully follows her into the doctor’s examination room. The doctor says, “Mrs. Sanders, I have been practicing medicine for 35 years and built a very honorable reputation. You can certainly trust me."

The wife replies, “Oh I trust you, doctor. It’s my husband I don’t trust with your pretty receptionist out there.” 

HYUK!

I had a job offer from a large company and they offered to fly me out to the interview on business class.

During the return flight we were given gourmet brownies and cookies. Not hungry, I decided to save them for later, so I placed them in an airsickness courtesy bag.

After the plane landed, I got up to leave and a flight attendant approached me if I wanted her to dispose of the bag.

I said, "No thanks, I'm saving it for my kids." 

HYUK!

“I’m the number everyone hates," said 13.

“No way, I am the number everyone hates,” replied 666.

"L-O-L," 2020 chuckled. 

HYUK!

Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the Lord my shape to keep.

Please no wrinkles, Please no bags,

Please lift my butt before it sags.

Please no age spots, Please no gray,

As for my belly, Please take it away.

Keep me healthy, Keep me young,

And thank you Lord, For all you've done. 

HYUK!

What do you call a date with Batman?

A Masked Mandate.. 


clapping

Pep Talk Generator

 

Pep Talk Generator

Choose one from each column and.... GO!

Sunday, December 26, 2021

The Man in the Tree

π—£π—œπ—–π—ž 𝗔 𝗠𝗔𝗑 π—œπ—‘ π—§π—›π—˜ 𝗧π—₯π—˜π—˜ π—•π—˜π—™π—’π—₯π—˜ 𝗬𝗒𝗨 π—₯π—˜π—”π—— π—§π—›π—˜ π—₯π—˜π—¦π—§ 𝗒𝗙 π—§π—›π—˜ 𝗣𝗒𝗦𝗧.

Which number of the 21 little people in the tree do you resonate with? Look at the picture before reading below.

Little man in the tree

This simple psycho-emotional test inspired by Pip Wilson's method can reveal interesting points about you.

Pip Wilson is a psychologist and trainer known worldwide for the very simple method in which he manages to help people find their maximum potential and balance in life. Pip Wilson also invented the Blob Tree method.

If you chose the little man 2 or 3, then you are an ambitious and confident person. You know that you will succeed all the time and that convenient situations will always come up to help you in your progress.

Little man number 1 is a self-assured person, content with his life and optimistic. He is an intelligent person, the capable should see in perspective.

Little man number 21 is a person who tries, but does not know how to find the best solutions for his life. He is a little man who must learn to ask for help from those around him and to give up his suspicious nature.

If you chose the little man 9, 19 or 4, it defines you as a non-social, suspicious and confident person. The number 19 man can have narcissistic inclinations and is envious of the success of others.

The number 4 little man gives up too quickly, does not trust his extraordinary potential. And the number 9 little man will do anything to prove that he is wonderful too, but it is easier to keep his lonely side, because in this way he justifies his mistrust in others.

Little people 7, 11, 12 characterize communicative people who know how to offer support to their friends. These people are characterized by a high emotional intelligence that helps them successfully deal with life situations. They have team spirit, they see the bright side and they find solutions all the time.

The number 5 little man is creative, loves life, enjoys every moment, love and knows how to be grateful to all the good things around him. This helps him to maintain a positive outlook and so he always has open doors to all the best!

The number 6 little man needs to feel loved, protected and safe. He is the kind of person who always falls in love with the wrong person, because of his unwed need for affection and love. This little man must learn to look more carefully for those who can help him in his evolution, and not those who do not understand his vulnerability.

The number 13 little man is filled with despair and the loss of hope. He must do his best to recalibrate himself to the tree of life and he can easily regain confidence in himself again, seeking the support of his loved ones!

The little people 16, 17 and 18 are optimistic, full of life, with team spirit, perform in any field and look at the challenges with detachment. The number 18 little man likes to feel loved and appreciated, and when he feels it, he becomes your best friend!

The number 14 little man is a soul, a philanthropist, he would do anything to help others. He is characterized by a lot of empathy and a ′′ great soul ". This little man should learn to take care of himself, not just others!

The 10, 15 and 20 men are winners. I love the taste of success, even if everyone has different ways to achieve it. The number 20 man is ambitious, confident and full of life, is an innovator and is not afraid to take risks. His detachment and passion bring him many achievements and satisfaction.

Little man number 10 is ambitious, but also very cautious. He is hardworking and determined, that's why he is successful, pretty much anything he wants. His ideas always stand out and he is appreciated in any environment. And the number 15 little man is motivated by the beauty of the road to success rather than the success itself. He is curious to know new things, to have new experiences, to meet people and to learn something from each one.

The number 8 little man is a dreamer and romantic. He likes to have some moments just to himself. This is how he regains his energy and the mood for life and socialization. It is good for the loved ones to understand their need for isolation and not to misconstrue it, to understand it and to leave the space it needs.

~ Emily Bender

R.I.P. Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1931 - 2021)


(AP) Desmond Tutu, South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning icon, an uncompromising foe of the country’s past racist policy of apartheid and a modern-day activist for racial justice and LGBT rights, died Sunday at 90. South Africans, world leaders and people around the globe mourned the death of the man viewed as the country’s moral conscience.

Tutu worked passionately, tirelessly and non-violently to tear down apartheid — South Africa’s brutal, decades-long regime of oppression against its Black majority that only ended in 1994.

The 411 - "Boxing Day"

Boxing Day Lineup

 Boxing Day, December 26th, is a public holiday in the United Kingdom, Australia (excluding South Australia), Canada, New Zealand and countries in the Commonwealth of Nations with a mainly Christian population. It is based on the tradition of giving gifts to the less fortunate members of society. Contemporary Boxing Day in many countries is now a "shopping holiday" associated with after-Christmas sales.

 This day is historically England's name for St Stephen's Day - St. Stephen was one of the first Christian martyrs, being stoned to death in Jerusalem around A.D. 34-35 - the 26th December, which is a public holiday in most countries in Europe and many countries around the world with predominantly Christian populations. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, St Stephen's Day is celebrated on the 27th of December, although in Greece the Greek Boxing Day (Synaxis Theotokou, Σύναξις Ξ˜Ξ΅ΞΏΟ„ΟŒΞΊΞΏΟ…) is also celebrated as a public holiday on the 26th of December and is not related to the English version.

 In Ireland the Bank Holidays Act 1871 established the feast day of St. Stephen's Day as a non-moveable public holiday on December the 26th, although since partition the name "Boxing Day" is used by the authorities in Northern Ireland and it has become a moveable public holiday in line with the rest of the UK. The Banking and Financial Dealings Act of 1971 established "Boxing Day" as a public holiday in Scotland. In the Australian state of South Australia, December the 26th is a public holiday known as Proclamation Day.

 It is usually celebrated on the 26th of December, the day after Christmas Day; however, unlike St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day is not always on the 26th of December, its associated public holiday can be moved to the next weekday if the 26th of December is a Saturday or Sunday. The movement of Boxing Day varies between countries.

 Origins
Boxing Day dates back to past centuries when it was the custom for the wealthy to give gifts to employees or to people in a lower social class, most especially to household servants and other service personnel. The name has numerous folk etymologies.

As with Christmas itself, some elements of Boxing Day are also likely related to, and ultimately derived from, the ancient Roman Saturnalia, which also had elements of gift giving and social role reversal.

 Date
In the countries that observe this holiday, 26 December is commonly referred to as Boxing Day, no matter what day of the week it occurs. However, in some countries, fixed-date holidays falling on Saturday or Sunday are often observed on the next weekday. Technically, Boxing Day cannot be on a Sunday - that day being the officially recognized day of worship, so traditionally it was the next working day of the week following Christmas Day, (i.e. any day from Monday to Saturday). In recent times this tradition has been either forgotten or ignored, and 26 December is considered by most to be Boxing Day when it falls on a Sunday. 1993 was the last year when 26 December was called Christmas Sunday in the UK; in 1999, the next time the date fell on a Sunday, it was Boxing Day.

 If Boxing Day falls on a Saturday, then Monday 28 December is declared a public holiday. In the United Kingdom and some other countries this is accomplished by Royal Proclamation. In some Canadian provinces, Boxing Day is a statutory holiday and is always celebrated on 26 December. As with most statutory holidays in Canada if it falls on a Saturday or Sunday, compensation days are given in the following week.

 If Boxing Day falls on a Sunday, then in countries where it is a public holiday the Statutory Holiday is moved to Monday 27 December. In that event, Christmas Day would be on a Saturday, so Tuesday 28 December would be declared a holiday in lieu, that being the next available working day - thus the Boxing Day holiday occurs before the substitute Christmas holiday.

 If Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, then Boxing Day is on Monday 26 December, and no Royal Proclamation is required. In such a circumstance, a 'substitute bank holiday in lieu of Christmas Day' is declared for Tuesday 27 December; again with the Boxing Day holiday occurring before the substitute Christmas holiday.

 Although the same legislation—the Bank Holidays Act 1871—originally established the Bank Holidays throughout the United Kingdom, the holiday after Christmas was defined as Boxing Day in England and Wales, and the feast day of St. Stephen's Day in Ireland.

 In Australia and Canada, Boxing Day is primarily known as a shopping holiday, and a time where stores have sales, often with dramatic price decreases. For many merchants, it has become the day of the year with the greatest revenue. In recent years, this has been expanded to "Boxing Week". While Boxing Day is actually on 26 December, many retailers who hold Boxing Day Sales will run the sales for several days before or after 26 December, often up to New Year's Eve.

 In some areas of Canada, particularly in Atlantic Canada and parts of Northern Ontario, most retailers are prohibited by law from opening on Boxing Day. In these cases, any sales specifically scheduled for December 26 are moved to the 27th.
 

Trailer Swift

 

Trailer Swift

Progress - nature wins every time

 

Progress - nature wins every time

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Mary Be Got

I will place a disclaimer at the start of this story; it is a paganised Yule story of the classic Christmas story.


It has offended some people who are of a more Christian path, and even upset some folks who are Pagan as well. Others have made this story as much a part of their own personal Yuletide tradition as a tree, or feasts with loved ones.


With that warning in mind, I hope you enjoy it.

MARY-BE-GOT

Nativity
By Ave Riddler

The fire light flickered across the smiling faces of the ladies in inner ring of the dance circle. Each of the ladies had their hair loose and flowing, with a crown of flowers and white ribbons. The ladies giggled breathlessly, as one after another they were spun out of the inner circle they were dancing hand in hand, towards the outer circle where the men danced. One of the men would dance with her for a short while, before sending her spinning and giggling back into the inner circle. Mary still linked with the inner circle, saw who she was to dance with next, and suddenly her heart was pounding with more than the fever of the dance. She sighed softly as the hands linked to her own vanished, and she was spun towards a green painted man, with antlers bound to his head that seemed to touch the moon above. As his warm calloused hands pressed to her narrow waist, his breath brushed her flushed cheek, “Happy May-eve sweet Mary,” He spun her dizzily around until once again she was pressed to his broad chest, “I morn your engagement to Joseph. Let us for only this instant pretend that you are the Goddess and I am the God…” Then he brushed his lips softly to her cheek, and released her.


Gaze lingering on the man as she rejoined the inner circle of dancing ladies, she gasped and giggled as she blushed. Moments after her hands linked with those in the inner circle the drums hushed and a voice cried over the singing “LET US FEAST!!!” Cheers rose through both circles of dancers, as well as those watching and clapping. Linked hands released, and the dancers as well as spectators drifted towards the platform where the food was displayed. A strange voice murmured into Mary’s ear “your life is about to change the lives of billions.” Startled she spun around to confront the stranger, only to find no one there. Feeling uneasy, she started forward again, only to collide into a warm green painted chest.

The deep voice that came from above her head as she shyly gazed up sent shivers down her back, “Mary sweetness. Mind where you walk or you will have the villagers talking of us…” Blushing she met his gaze boldly, and breathlessly asked “And what could they possibly say about the great horned God and I?”

He started to chuckle “That Mary may not be so pure a virgin.” Then his eyes widening he whispered near her ear “But you called me the God, not as Christopher?” Heat and longing filled his eyes as he looked into her gaze “On this a May-day eve?”

With a shy glance down along his green painted chest she sighed “And how can a lady on this day, deny her lord?” Then as he watched with shock, she removed a blossom from her hair and placed it among his horns. Then turning from the feast, they linked hands, passing through the oblivious crowd.

Later in a moon lit clearing surrounded by trees, he his antlers tossed aside asked sadly “what of Joseph?”

Mary smiled gently “he must never know of this night. I will go to him still a virgin. He will never learn of Christopher the village shepherd…or that his bride’s faith is towards a faith different from his own. I must go to him the pure bride my father gave him.” Christopher touched her hand eyes beseeching her to stay. With a sorrowful shake of her head, she stood, and turned towards the village. He called out to her, concerned she would get lost, but she promised to remain on the path.

A month later sick with nerves, Mary gazed down at her wedding garb, knowing that from this day forth she would be Joseph’s wife, gone were the May-days, and Solstices. Joseph would be a fine husband; he was so kind, and so attentive, he had even noticed that she had gained some weight, praising her for it, saying it would be good for when she was with child. As she walked slowly towards her father, and Joseph she let her eyes drift around at the gathered villagers, seeing young and old, friends and family, sheep…Startled she glanced back in the direction of the animals, and found her gaze locked upon the face of their shepherd. He, his face no longer painted green, stared at her with tears in his eyes and a dried flower in his hand. As she gazed at him his lips moved silently around the words “no Mary”

A strange voice murmured into her ear, “you, young Mary are with child!” Frightened Mary glanced behind her, and saw no one near enough to have voiced this announcement. With a final slow step, she found herself standing at Joseph’s side. All through the complex marriage ceremony, Mary thought not of her place in her husband’s life, nor of her place in her new God’s house, but of that one night of sacred love. As the ceremony drew to its end, Mary did notice Joseph glance at her waist with a faint frown.

As was custom in her village she was separated from her new groom for the week when her blood tide was to flow, and she worried when it did not come. Alone in the hut where the women of the village spent their cycle she paced as she wondered how she could possibly explain her situation. Then she recalled the strange voice and exclaimed “An angel!” Almost joyful she sank onto a chair “an angel from the heavens! Came to tell me I am carrying a God’s child! How else could a virgin newly married be with child? It will be a miracle! A blessing!”

Once alone with Joseph on the night she was presented to her husband, cleansed and blessed, she fell to her knees and begged Joseph not to bed her. “I have been chosen! I am a living miracle! I had a vision, an angel came to me…” she raised her hands towards the heavens, “I a virgin, am with child….Free of sin…Carrying a God’s seed! A blessing!” Joseph raged, asking over and over what other lies her father had told him? Who had known his virgin bride? How could she betray him in this way? Then he stormed out of the bed chambers.

Mary was sleeping when Joseph finally returned, he angrily agreed “Fine! An angel came to ME, told ME of this baby, before we came together for the first time.” Softer spoken, but still with a hint of anger in his voice he said “I have spoken with your father, he finally told me I married a pagan. You went to those heathen rites…But he vows he knows nothing of any sexual acts, claims you always came home untouched. So a virgin you are. MY God’s child you shall be carrying.”

Months passed and the newlyweds were the talk of the villagers, “a virgin mother?” Some called it a blessing, others call it a curse. As the conflict grew, Mary and Joseph were shunned. Asked to leave the village, they were permitted only to pack up a few meager belongings, the belief of the people being that if this baby really was God’s child, He would provide for the family. Her father gifting the couple a mule sent them on their way. Mary saw a lone figure in the shadows of the building watching as they leave. Faintly in the shadows she could see a pure white lamb by the figures feet. “Go away Christopher” she whispered silently “Stop watching over me.” Then as Joseph started on his way, she turned to follow him with her shoulders hunched, tears in her eyes and walked away.

Night after night, Mary had nightmares where leering faces with strange voices howled at her “Your life will change billions” As Joseph and Mary travel she continued to fill out, and travel became more and more difficult. Each village they came to they found the same lack of welcome, it seemed every person knew of the virgin mother, saying that God will provide, and turning the couple away.

The seasons changed, and Mary secretly found a small log of wood, which late at night as Joseph slept she whispered her hopes and dreams for the future to the log. The weather grew colder, the nights longer yet Mary stayed awake more and more fearing the nightmares she had of her child turning completely from the earth, renouncing his mother, placing men above all things.

The longest and darkest night found Mary placing her log in the fire where she watched as it burned. With the warmth of the fire on her face, she pulled out a scarlet ribbon from her bag and twisted it into her hair. Singing softly, swaying side to side, she placed her hands against her large waist, her quietude broken when suddenly pain lanced through her body. Panic in her voice she called out desperately “JOSEPH!!! The baby!” As rapidly as possible they packed up their camp, heading at a renewed speed for the nearby lights of a small village. Both of them knowing a forest is not a good place to try birth a baby, with hopes of finding a warm safe place in the village.

Once inside the village, they wandered from house to house, only to be turned away by people that had fear in their eyes. The next building they came to they saw a man bickering with someone who was obviously a stranger, Joseph sighed “he too must be trying to find a place to stay. We’ll have to move on.”

As they started to turn away a voice called out to them from the building “You there!” Startled Joseph turned and watched warily as an old man limped towards them. Wheezing the old man said “That shepherd over there” gesturing behind him to shadows that were now empty “well the shepherd that was over there gave me all his sheep in return for a warm place for the two of you to rest for a while.” The old man gazed closer at Mary seeing now the sweat on her brow and her rounded belly he gasped and choked out “you’re the virgin mother aren’t you? It seems I will be the one fool to interfere with the divine will then.” He then turned and led them to his small barn.

Alone with Mary in the barn Joseph helped as Mary labored with the birth of her child. Overwhelmed by agony, Mary cried out, her mind fearing death, her ears not hearing anything outside of her pain, she sobbed out her confession. Mary was oblivious even to Joseph as he listened, his face filling with understanding as he gazed at the sheep surrounding them.

Late in the night, Mary with babe in her arms rested in a bed of hay, wondering where Joseph was. She was thinking also of Christopher, wondering if the sheep around her could possibly be his. When Joseph returned all fury was gone from his eyes, he gazed silently at Mary and the baby for a while. Then he handed her a set of antlers, watching as shock entered her eyes. He smiled slightly and said “So you do recognize them. I just had a talk with a shepherd who gave up all his wealth, so that a God’s child could be born. I think we shall name the baby Christ.”

R.I.P. Pam Heslop (Pammy)

 

Pam Heslop and me
It is with a heavy heart that I have to make this post so close to Christmas, or anytime for that matter. My best friend Pam passed away on December 22nd. Pam was my best friend for over 30 years. Pam had a delightful smile and an infectious personality. Though she was quite ill over the last few years, I always enjoyed spending time with her. You have to treasure your friends, someday they will be gone, like Pam. 

Pam worked with me at 7-Eleven as my Assistant Manager (that is how we met). Every time I was transferred I brought Pam along to help. She was the best employee one could have. 

She love Minaki lake and I wish I had seen it with her. She talked about it often. 

I will miss her terribly. Every time I visited Winnipeg, I took her out to lunch at Salisbury House. We enjoyed that time together. Even seeing her just once or twice per year was a wonderful time together. We talked like we had over the years and never ran out of things to say. The lunch generally ran into a 2 hour+ chat about everything.

We started out as co workers but developed into a strong friendship. I hadn't seen her much since I left Winnipeg, but she was always the first person I looked up when visiting. Our conversations came easy and it seemed like we could always start where we left off. 

Pam was a great mother to Amanda, and wife to Dan. Nothing really seemed to phase her, She took everything in stride. Amanda said she was impatient, but I never saw that. She was always the cool head while we worked at 7-Eleven.

58 Years is way to young to be saying goodbye, Pam.


Pam and me

Pam and me

Miss you already Pammy. Hugs and kisses to you in Heaven.

XOXO

Brian


Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from The Wizard of 'OZ'

 
Merry Christmas

The Wizard of 'OZ' AKA Brian
from The Wizard of 'OZ' aka Brian

Happy Yule!

 Yule Fire

I hear the wind howling
The ice has entered my soul
The cold seems endless
The darkness black as coal.


Yet a spark of something
Shines bright through the night
Could it be the dawning
Of approaching light?


For it’s always coldest
In the hours before dawn
Darkness is its deepest,
Facing fears we’ve drawn


How can loneliness dwell
With loved ones nearby?
Why the tiny doubts
Filling me with their cries?


So I turn my face away
Forget the winter’s chill
Celebrate Sun’s return
As my spirit thrills.

by Elspeth Sapphire


May the Blessings of the ONE be with you at this special time of year. Check the archives. I bet there is a lot that you haven't read yet.... Thanks again to my loyal readers who are part in parcel in keeping me posting to "The 'Other' Side of the Rainbow" You know who you are!

Take care,

--The Wizard

Yule Log Recipe

Yule Log


2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
2 (1oz) squares unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
confectioner's sugar for dusting

4 (10z) squares semisweet baking chocolate
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
3 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon coffee flavored liqueur

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 10 x 15 inch jellyroll pan and line with parchment paper. Sift flour with baking powder and salt and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs on high for several minutes until they are very pale and fluffy. Gradually add in the sugar, beating 1 to 2 minutes more or until very thick. Gently, but thoroughly, fold in the flour mixture.

3. Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. In a small bowl, combine the 2 tablespoons of water with the 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur and the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the baking soda, then gradually stir into the melted chocolate until smooth. Quickly, but thoroughly, fold chocolate mixture into batter.

4. Pour batter into prepared 10x15 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Lightly sift an even layer of confectioners sugar over a cloth napkin or tea towel (do not use Terry Cloth). Flip the cake out of its pan onto the prepared cloth as soon as it comes from the oven. Carefully peel away parchment paper. Lightly dust top of cake with confectioner's sugar, then trim away crispy edges. Starting with one of the short sides of the cake, immediately roll the cake up in the cloth, jellyroll style, and cool thoroughly on a rack.

5. For the filling and frosting: in a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate. Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese with the confectioners sugar until smooth, and then blend in the vanilla extract and coffee liqueur. Blend in the melted chocolate. Unroll the cake and spread about 1/3 of the filling evenly over the surface. Roll the cake back up.

6. Arrange cake roll on serving tray, then first generously, swiping with an icing spatula to form the long 'bark line' design. Swipe ends of cake in a circular motion to simulate the tree-rings of a cut log.

Decorate log as desired with holly leaves and berries, mushrooms and snow.